Nikon Monarch 7

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Episode V: A New Hope (or Unhinged for Anhingas)

Jeff Skrentny and I decided a while back that we would be making one more trip down to Little Egypt and the Trail of Tears in hopes that we might finally be able to track down what may be Illinois’ most elusive summer resident: Anhinga. It would be my 5th attempt.

As the day that [read more…]

I Got The Clap! (a birding tale)

If you bird long enough, you will acquire a nemesis. What’s a nemesis? Mirriam-Webster gives us a few choices, but one definition hits the nail on the head as far as we’re concerned here: a formidable and usually victorious rival or opponent.

We don’t often think of birds as “opponents” when birding, but it happens. [read more…]

American Birding Expo Wrap-up

Last weekend the ABA Lounge was open for visitors at the American Birding Expo in Columbus Ohio. Hats off to Expo organizers Bill Thompson III and Wendy Clark, as well as the whole Birdwatcher’s Digest team, for a wonderful event. The expo featured tour companies and guides from virtually every part of the globe, optics [read more…]

Join us in The Valley!

November 2–6, 2016

There are a lot of birding festivals in the ABA area–fifteen between now and the end of 2016–but one stands out: the Rio Grande Valley Birding Festival. Now in its 23rd year, RGVBF is legendary.

The birding is, as you might imagine, off the hook. South Texas specialties, like Green Jay, [read more…]

21st Century Audubons

John James Audubon, by John Syme – The White House Historical Association, Public Domain.

John James Audubon walked the woods, fields, and mountains of our ABA area, with a muzzle-loading shotgun in hand, looking for birds. Birding, if you will. He would come across a flock of small passerines–warblers, perhaps–and a report would echo [read more…]

Birding is Easy

Some people say birding is hard. But seriously … what could be easier? You just go outside, and pay attention.

Once out in the temperate, sweet, springtime woods, a stunning little black and orange bird hops along the branch of an ash tree that’s just beginning to put out its leaves for the year. Even [read more…]

On Birding and Photography

When I started birding in the early 1970s, there were only a very, very few people taking pictures of wild birds. Eliot Porter, and his amazing nest-side portraits of warblers near his home in Ely, Minnesota, comes to mind. As does my mentor, Dr. William Beecher, who was probably the first birder to carry an [read more…]

Big Days Aren’t Easy

“Big” birding of any flavor is challenging. The essence of it all is simply trying to see as many different species as possible in a pre-determined amount of time. For the past few years, my perennial Big Day buddy, Jeff Skrentny, and I have been whacking away at the various Illinois Big Day records. There’s [read more…]

Birding is Hard

I started birding in 1972, and took to it like an ibis takes to drainage ditches. I pretty quickly learned all of the birds that could be reasonably expected in the city parks of Chicago, where I grew up. By 1975, I was a fully fledged, vagrant-hunting birder. By the time I was 13 years [read more…]

Smoked Hawk

The radar showed birds moving as we got started at 2:30 am. But it looked like birds moving out of central Illinois, rather than moving in.

Anyone who’s read much of my drivel over the years, knows I like doing Big Days. With my perennial Big Day buddy Jeff, we have been working at [read more…]

American Birding Podcast
Birders know well that the healthiest, most dynamic choruses contain many different voices. The birding community encompasses a wide variety of interests, talents, and convictions. All are welcome.
If you like birding, we want to hear from you.
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    The judges have reviewed all of the outstanding entries. ABA staff has compiled the scores. After much anticipation, we are thrilled to announce the winners of the 2017 ABA Young Birder of the Year Contest! Your 2017 ABA Young Birder of the Year in the 14-18 age group is 18-year-old Johanna Beam from Lyons, Colorado. […]
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